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Like any big city, Los Angeles has plenty of incredible food spots to choose from. Whether you're visiting or a local, it can be tough to narrow down the choices. Maybe you’re looking for a fabulous place to go for brunch, or you want to visit a hip and trendy venue. I’ve included in this list some great finds I’ve personally tried out recently, each with its own unique reasons to go. With that being said, check out these 6 great LA restaurants.
Reasons to Go:
If you're looking for a romantic date night spot, Planta Cocina in Marina del Rey is a beautiful venue right on the waterfront. My husband and I recently went here for my birthday, and we had a fantastic experience. We went on a weeknight, and it was easy to make a reservation. Plus, there's a free parking lot where the restaurant is. I'm guessing this restaurant probably gets pretty busy on weekends, so I recommend checking it out on a weekday if you can.
This restaurant is hands-down one of the prettiest I've ever been to. While their interior is gorgeous, I do recommend trying to sit outside on their patio if you can to get some nice views of the sunset and water. My favorite part, though, was the food. My husband and I ordered two dishes and split them between us. We got the Udon Noodles and the Pasta Verde, both were $25. They were both so delicious! Since it was my birthday, I also ordered a cocktail, opting for the cutely-named Herb Your Enthusiasm, which was $16. I didn't know what to expect, but the cocktail was also really fantastic. Despite the higher prices at Planta Cocina, I think the ambiance, food, and drinks are worth it for a special occasion.
Reasons to Go:
Snug Harbor is located in Santa Monica and was the recent meeting point for my friend Ellen and I to meet while she was in town. This budget-friendly spot is open daily for breakfast and lunch, though we came here for breakfast specifically. The cool thing about Snug Harbor is that it's also historic; this diner has been around since 1941, and the interior still has that vintage aesthetic. If you'd rather sit outside, though, they also have outdoor dining in the back.
I ordered the waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. It was really good, and the service here was great too.
The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker
Reasons to Go:
This restaurant is located in Sunset Plaza, an upscale section of West Hollywood’s famous Sunset Strip, making this a great place if you need to grab a bite to eat while touring the area. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, and the look of the venue is reminiscent of something you’d see in Santorini. One of my favorite things about this venue is that you get a lot for the price. I ordered the traditional breakfast, which costs $19 and was more food than I could finish. I find that sometimes at nice restaurants they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for practically a sliver of food, but this was not the case at The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker. Another interesting thing about this restaurant is the drinks. If you’re into mimosas, they have a cool mimosa flight, but even the lattes here are impressive. The color burst latte is definitely worth an Instagram picture.
The Highlight Room
Reasons to Go:
The Highlight Room is a rooftop pool and restaurant located in the heart of Hollywood. It’s also one of those LA places where the ‘beautiful people’ go to see and be seen, so if that’s your vibe, then you’ll want to check out this spot. More than likely the majority of those working here are aspiring influencers and actors, and while sometimes that can mean snobby service, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the hosts and servers here were really nice. The best part about The Highlight Room is the view, though. I ate here during the day, and you can see all across Hollywood right from your dining table. Food and drinks were costly, with most meals in the $20-25 range. I ordered a grilled chicken Caesar salad, so not the most interesting thing, but it was good. In comparison to the other restaurants on this list, the food here was probably my least favorite, and it was the same for the other people in my dining group. But again, the bigger draw of this venue isn’t the food so much as the ambiance and views. Plus, it’s in the heart of Hollywood, so if you have plans to sightsee around the Walk of Fame, this is a great spot hit up the same day.
All Day Baby
Reasons to Go:
All Day Baby is located on Sunset Blvd. in LA’s eclectic Silver Lake neighborhood, east of Hollywood. If you’re a tourist visiting LA, this is where you’re likely to find more locals hanging out. This venue is the most budget-friendly place on this list, but this also depends on what and how much you order. Rather than being seated and ordering from your table, you’ll wait order and pay upfront. You then seat yourself, and your food is delivered to your table. I chose the fried chicken sandwich with a side order of fries. I was pleasantly surprised with the sandwich, but I will say their breakfast sandwich also looked pretty good. As far as food goes, their dinnertime menu did look better than the daytime one, so just keep that in mind as well. This restaurant has plenty of outdoor and open-air indoor seating. They also have some locally-made pastries worth trying, but they can sell out quickly. I had my eye on the cinnamon rolls, and they were long gone by the time I got there.
El Coyote Mexican Café
Reasons to Go:
As far as food and drinks go, El Coyote is hands down the winner here. I ordered the steak fajitas and a margarita to drink, both of which were incredible! You’ll likely have plenty of leftovers with this meal, but they’re worth ordering. If you’re 21+, be sure to try their margarita. This was honestly the best margarita I’ve ever had, but I want to warn you that it’s the kind that doesn’t taste strong but secretly is. So, if you plan to have one, take a ride share, walk, or give yourself plenty of time to digest it in order to drive safely. They have indoor and outdoor seating. El Coyote is also the most historic restaurant on this list, though part of its fame is steeped in tragedy. El Coyote was the restaurant Sharon Tate and friends dined at the night of the Charles Manson murders. Because of this history, El Coyote was also featured in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The restaurant has been open for over 90 years, making it one of the city’s oldest spots. So, if you’re into Hollywood history - and want some seriously good Mexican food and margaritas - definitely check out El Coyote. They also have free parking in the back until 4:00 p.m. After that, you’ll have to pay to park there.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and comedian who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Sleep Advisor, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com